Hi all, among my ODS stash I have 6 AFV Club M54’s that are destined to be donors for Hobby Link’s beautiful range of conversion kits ( some/ most will converted to the later M800 truck). There are wrecker, dump, tractor-wrecker, bridge truck, tractor and other variants.
Now to my question; can anyone see any advantages to building these as a series, one after the other?
I could slip in other subjects, RFM’s M1 from 1991 etc. But im wondering if the continuity/repetitiveness would be an advantage.
Anyway, awaiting your opinions.
To me, the repetitiveness in a downside. I have done it before on commission builds where I had to build 8 HMMWVs as presentation gifts. I got sick of building HMMWVs after a while. I like variety, so to me I see no benefit from doing the same thing over and over again.
One benefit is that you learn lessons from the first one that you can apply to your subsequent builds before you forget them.
I don’t know about benefits but if |I need more than one type of a particular vehicle as part of a planned diorama or similar, I just suck it up and get it done. I find it best to layout a sort of production line and tackle both kits at the same time; in other words, if I make the turret on model A, I then make the turret on model B. Therefore, I should end up with both models competed at the same time. There may not be much modelling joy in so doing, but the end result - ie the completed diorama - is what it’s all about - or at least to me.
I once built four HMMWV GMVs for a diorama. I didn’t mind the repetition in that I could identify challenges and mistakes as I went. I built them one at a time. The only downside was that on a side by side comparison, I could see the differences between the first and last built, but in the context of a dio they worked out really well, and if anything, the variety made them more interesting.
I have also built a few of the Panda MATV kit - which is not great, but I like the looks of the vehicle. In this case, I think building a few not-very-good kits helped me as a model builder. At a minimum, it helped me to figure out how to work through problems and not make a mess out of the kit. As I had a hard time with the kit, this in some ways introduced me to the fundamentals of scratch building, as I wanted the suspension to look better than what the kit offered, and I wanted posable steering, so had to figure that out.
That’s monotonous, six of the same kit in a row. I’d probably try building them in pairs and do something different between each pair.
I’ve noticed that the 2nd kit of the same thing builds faster due to familiar with the model.
Good luck with the commission.
Some gain in efficiency - overall quicker when pro-rated on a per-model basis - and as mentioned, above, you can take advantage of lesson’s learned to avoid making mistakes. Set-up the bench and shop and then build assembly-line fashion rather than one complete build right after another. Don’t be hesitant to revise / modify the tooling steps as you complete each stage, doing that stage for all of the kits at one time. (You’ll figure out better ways to do a job as you repeat it over and over, so don’t get stuck or stubborn.)
Big disadvantage is that, at least for me, it’d be mind-numbingly boring. Kind of like building link-to-link tracks only with the light at the end of the tunnel is even further away.
Still, you’d likely knock out the whole batch of kits a lot faster assembly-line fashion than doing them one at a time, even if you built them sequentially, one after the other.
I have done the same with the Academy M113; I could literally build one blind-folded. you build enough of them, that you get familiar with every quirk and every deficiency the kit may have and quicklyhave a workaround to improve the kit’s overall look.
Building them all at the same time to me would be a drudgery, and the last thing you want to introduce into this hobby is drudgery. That would be such a big excuse for me NOT to sit down at my bench each day. I would build one, build something else, build another, build something else…until they were all done, but I would never build them all at one time or one after the other. You want to look forward to getting back to the bench each day!
True. You want to have variety on your builds; builds that challenge your skills and help you discover new skills that spark your creativity.
I built 12 Pz III’s a year ago, with the bulk being Dragon kits. While on one hand it was easy to get into a thing building roadwheels and track links and I managed to finish all in a year the other hand held a fistful of tedium that threatened to overwhelm the fun I was supposed to be having so instead of being excited I completed my goal I was instead glad it was over…
…until I bought some more Pz. IIIs.
From the OP’s original premise, each of the six different conversion kits should provide enough interest & reduced drudgery. Each conversion will be obviously a unique build so personally I’d do the whole set in one project. We’re all different but I know if I interspersed these variants with a different build, I’d feel an increasing resistance along the lines of “Oh f… not yet another M54 after this”.
Depending on intention, even if only the base-colour’s going to be the same across all 6, painting ‘em all at the same time, while gruelling, might be a worthwhile time-saver
I have built multiples of the same thing, usually with decades between them, using the newest kit from the latest manufacturer.
I have also built multiple VARIANTS of the same thing, as in Tamiyas’ 1/48th 2-1/2t. Duces.
I’ve cross-kitted them as a soft-top USAAF fueler (as the most common in US Air Bases in the UK during ww2) and a hard-top standard truck.
Currently on the bench, another pair of 1/48th Duces:
A hard-top* with a Black Dog truck-bed with closed tarp
A soft-top with a Gaso.Line M27 GMC Bomb Service Truck Crane.
*The Black Dog truck-bed with closed tarp is awful, with noticeable shrinkage on the truck bed. I’m gonna ‘cheat’ & change it to the SWB version, should be OK under the 3-foot rule.
I have NOT ever, managed to build any kit OOB, even when I intended to, (replaced the plastic barrel with an AM metal one because I broke it!), by changing variant, markings, or similar, or is it just me?
As a modeler, one can never have too many Pz III’s, Pz IV’s, Panther’s, Tiger’s, T-34’s, Sherman’s or Cromwell’s. It’s like being too wealthy, it doesn’t happen…wink
Thanks to everyone for your input, certainly a range of different opinions out there, which is a good thing.
I think the perception that these will be repeat builds is a little bit out though. It would go; donor kit frame and cab with a shortened frame for the M818 tractor and M51/M817 dump, with HL conversion kit for both. Then donor kit frame and cab, adding HL’s conversion kit for M813, tractor/wrecker, bridge truck etc.
Also, it’s not a commission. Lawd knows my skills arent there! It’s just that they’re there to be done and it seemed a good idea.
Yup, and just like wealth it comes with the issues of handling, management, protection and where to hide it all …
Well, as an author of my own misfortune I am also experiencing the trials of multiple painting (let alone construction); this is evidence of my own ambitions getting mixed up with my capabilities (models for my Corps HQ diorama, running very late, for the Fog of War campaign):
Still a long way to go; I find it best to stick to finishing say, 5 models at a time. Anymore and I endure massive burn-out(!) – and no small eyestrain – due to the 1:300 scale.